A Case Study on Reversing Crohn's Symptoms, Through Diet

For the purposes of privacy in today’s post, the client’s name has been changed to Thomas. Also, we have many other case study posts that you can see here:

You can see some other case studies we’ve done here:

Meet Thomas.

His Biggest Complaints:

  • Thomas has had digestive problems for more than 20 years.
  • Recently, he had emergency surgery, to remove a small part of the large intestine
  • He is now having diarrhea up to 20 times per day and feels like he can’t keep anything in his stomach.
  • He has zero energy, to the point that he was spending many days lying on the couch by the afternoon. This was incredibly difficult while also having two young boys to take care of.
  • He has also lost 25lbs (that he didn’t want to lose!)

What He’s Already Tried:

  • After meeting with his dietitian, he was told to eat as plain as possible. This included foods like white bread, white rice, oatmeal, bananas peanut butter, chicken. For calories, he was also consuming Boost.
  • He was also given the drug, Pentasa, which he did not feel was helping at all. If anything, he wondered if it was making him worse.

What We Did:

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that is autoimmune condition in nature. Given that, the first thing I wanted to do with Thomas was to put him on an anti-inflammatory diet. Now, there are varying levels of this, and given that he was incredibly busy with his kids and family through COVID, we went with the simplest option which was a low grain, gluten-free and dairy-free diet. I provided Thomas with recipes for breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner to follow this so that he was really clear on what I was looking for. It was effectively a paleo-style way of eating, but with some modifications.

Since Thomas had been flaring so much, we made sure his diet was also low fibre, until his gut healed a bit more. Things I would typically recommend lots of on the paleo diet, like cruciferous vegetables and nuts and seeds, we went very easy on. It was a plain paleo diet. As his digestion improved, we could start introducing more fibre, slowly.

In addition to diet, I also give him slippery elm powder, which forms a soothing layer in the intestines and really helps reduce inflammation and irritation, fast. I also gave him an anti-yeast probiotic. While we hadn’t done gut testing on Thomas, it’s common that yeast can be a factor in Crohn’s disease and specific strains of probiotics actually target yeasts really effectively. 

The Results

One week into his new way of eating, I emailed Thomas to see how he was doing. Here’s what he said:

“I started last Wednesday. I think I turned a corner on Monday as my bowel movements are much less and the diarrhea has eased up. I have more energy as well. Things are going in the right direction. Fingers crossed. Thanks for checking in.”

On our second scheduled consult, once he’d been on the plan a couple of weeks, he said he had wayyy more energy than he did previously. He still wanted more (which is understandable, it had only been two weeks). He was enjoying the recipes and food. His digestion had settled down immensely. 

Closing Thoughts:

This is what happened in just one month. There is more work to be done, but I want to highlight how he finally started to get results when we began working together. To simply be told to “eat plain”, when lots of his meals contained gluten and dairy (highly inflammatory in those with autoimmune conditions) just was not the right guidance.

If you are struggling with your digestion, even if it’s not Crohn’s disease, and are sick and tired of feeling sick and tired, please book a complimentary phone call here. We will listen to your symptoms, share how we work with clients and determine if it’s a good fit to work together.

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